Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho rejected once more as too lenient the third plea deal offered to video store robbery suspect Benjamin Jones Castro Jr.
The third plea deal would have sent Castro to three years in prison without the possibility of parole.
In an order yesterday, Camacho said he is not persuaded that the interests of justice would be served by accepting the plea, given the manner of violence implicated.
Camacho is known for rejecting lenient plea agreements and imposing maximum jail sentences.
The judge said the proposed third plea agreement just adds six months imprisonment to the previously rejected plea agreement, and is otherwise unchanged.
Under the third plea deal, Castro would plead guilty to robbery in exchange for a sentence of five years imprisonment, all suspended except for three years, to be served without the possibility of parole and with credit for time served.
Chief Public Defender Adam Hardwicke is counsel for the suspect. Assistant attorney general Chemere McField represents the government.
In rejecting the proposed second plea agreement last month, Camacho said the proposed two-year-and-six-month sentence is disproportionate to the crime committed.
“Here the plea is based on defendant's admission that he came up behind the cashier of a video store and choked her, forcing her to open the cash register and surrender the money. This particular use of force is extremely violent and offensive to the court,” the judge said.
If convicted of all three charges, Castro is facing a maximum of 16 years in prison.
Police said that Castro robbed Hollywood Video in San Jose on Feb. 24, 2012. The suspect allegedly took $379 cash from the cash register. The store's 23-year-old female cashier sustained some injuries in her right jaw.